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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:51 PM   #1
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Default Tall bird with the big lens

Found a very cooperative Great Blue Heron at our park's boat dock, and was able to do more testing with the 135-600 lens. After some earlier tests, I thought I needed F 11 to get sharp shots. But it seems to be sharp even wide open, as long as it is kept to 550 mm or less, and at distances of less than 100'. Here are a few samples.

First the most distant shots, when the GBH was still busy with the business of fishing, and had not yet noticed the crazy man with the tripod.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:52 PM   #2
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Now I get a bit closer, and the bird looks down his nose at this intruder!
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:54 PM   #3
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GBH did allow me to continue getting closer, as long as I went slowly & quietly.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:55 PM   #4
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Now a bit closer...
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:56 PM   #5
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And one more shot, really "up close & personal" with the Heron!
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 3:56 PM   #6
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As always, any suggestions, criticisms, etc gratefully accepted!
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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You're really getting some very good shots from that lens Mole.
I dug out my old 100-500mm to see if I could coach anything from it in the way of a quality shot, and remembered exactly I hadn't used it for a long time... it sucks
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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You sure make some wonderful friends, although I worry how 'up and personal' you got.

That lens is fantastic, but of course it needs someone with your eye to make magic.

Rodney
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Old Oct 25, 2009, 12:10 AM   #9
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Hi mole,

These are terrific!!!

I'm relieved to see that you can get this quality at larger apertures. f11 max would have been pretty limiting. Personally I have some problem focusing manually for relatively distant subjects. I have to half manually focus with the 1.7x AFA anyway, so I always try at least a few times each session to get the focus lock without activating the AFA, and I'm still consistently surprised to see how far off I usually am.

I really like all the closer shots especially, and my favorite is the last portrait.

Looks like you did very well stalking. I can't imagine that there was much cover approaching a dock like this. It also looks like the light was varying quite a bit, so nice job compensating for the exposure also.

Great job all around with this! You had a lot of work to do to get these shots.

Scott
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Old Oct 25, 2009, 7:31 AM   #10
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Mole, that last shot blows me away! You did a magnificent job getting that with a long MF lens. You are one fine photographer!

I have not found GBH to be as skittish as other birds and remain in one spot for long lengths of time. From the looks of the dock they appear to visit that area frequently.
They definitely are a bird you do not want to stand behind for long.

Lou
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